Thursday, 30 August 2007


As a P.S to my yummy mummy post I was tickled to read that Mrs Fashion believes that art teachers can afford to shop in Toast, I bloody wish, absolute tops for my budget is Jigsaw. Most young Art teacher are so broke from their student debt they tend to use either EBay or H&M, the older ones sink their salary into pensions, property and procreation. Our clothes tend to be black or cheap because what does not get splattered with Acrylic paint gets ripped by the rogue staple left over from when the year 10s found misses staple gun. Never sit on an art bench and never ever put your hand under the table especially on a hot day..Worst of all I am sad to report that for all our aesthetic ideals most of us are a sad rag tag bunch indeed.

some farewells

Catching up with reading my blog back log I read with sadness a farewell from the Toast and Honey blog. Beautifully written blogs are hard to find and this one was written by someone who clearly enjoyed using the English language, one of the reasons cited was the lack of having a secret space which is a sentiment I can totally empathise with I think its a brave person who can open up with friends and family reading, the alternative is a fairly academic blog with a subject focus. So I hope Toast and Honey returns one day.
Another farewell all be it temporary was our Homeopath who has written to say she is taking a sabbatical. Kate has been a rock for Daisy and more recently Kitty so we are going to be floating like a rudderless boat without her. Kate was introduced to me by a friend at school who had read a lot about the excesses of pharmaceutical companies, my father who had worked for Boots in his early 20s backed up her concerns with stories that would make you weep with frustrated anger. The trigger for me was Daisy's eczema she was covered her from head to toe by the time she was 2, I could not bear to use a steroid cream and she did nothing but cry for 2 years. Off we toddled and the eczema subsided as did my recurrent kidney infections. Kate guided me through 2 more pregnancies and my kids are drug free with an awesome immune system. Kate has listened and had been guiding them through the trauma of adolescence so I hope she can resolve her problems and come back soon, for the sake of my sanity.
The flower photo's were taken from mothers paradise garden packed with beautiful blooms.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Mummy Chic

I spent a leisurely day organising my clothes yeaterday. I have bought a couple of new pieces from Fat Face and White Stuff so decided to work out what to wear them with. This requires every single piece to come out and go back neatly and in the right place tops, bottoms, cardi's and weekend well as places for vests and gym gear. I roll and hang everything and pick up every night this is because I do not iron ...I threw the ironing board away years ago I kept the iron for the odd piece of linen but I find that body heat is the best to rid the creases. Trust me it s very liberating. I have finally bitten the bullet and put to rest the frilly and beaded bits I was clinging on to in case Giles Bensimon came knocking for an ironic take on the larger woman photo shoot, so the wardrobe is sleeker meaner and ready to wear. I have documented various outfits to grab and go as I wake at 6.20 get up at 6.30 and leave by 7.15, hair is a ponytail and has been for 5 years cut with sewing shears! I felt personally slighted by Style Bubbles Mummy Chic jibe, we shop at Jigsaw/Toast because they are cut to skim the lumps and fit. I don't think any yummy mummy would be seen dead in Laura Ashley and Coast is just for wanna be wag weddings. Add Noa Noa, Saltwater, Fat Face, White Stuff and most of all GAP I love GAP.
The wonderful people at the British Consulate gave our new Au Pair her Visa just after her flight left Thank you so considerate.l

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Colin Orchard

Both of the paintings are by Colin Orchard, a wonderful exhibition we saw at oiled by a lovely glass of red wine. The first painting looks so much better in the flesh, it is of The Penwith Gallery quite the most beautiful space you could hope to own and yet as a gallery it did not work at all. The work was a mish mash badly hung and a rather odd atmosphere pervaded so that you could not wait to get out. In stark contrast the Penhaven gallery was so lovely I could have moved in. It is tiny and David Beer uses his living room as an extension to the main gallery which makes it even better as you can see work in a more realistic context. There is a comprehensive website well worth a look. My other favourite space is the Plumbline gallery opposite Babara Hepworth's garden, the owner here was so utterly brilliant with Leyla she became a charming model of a child. I wished I could have popped him in my suitcase and brought him home to be her nanny. Talking of which today has become black Tuesday not only have I bashed the tyre on Emin's precious bloody Lexus (this will be a big big row ) The British Consulate in Ankara Turkey have sat on our new Au pairs visa application for over 8 weeks having told her it would take 6 she had a flight booked to fly out today to start work on Monday so she has lost her flight and the consulate have been so rude and unhelpful. So we try to do things the right way and this is what happens yet thousands of illegal immigrants wander in every day with no hassle at all. I sometimes hate our ridiculous bureaucratic government I bet not one single MP has this problem.


The first print is by Bryan Pearce, the second is by Peter Davies. The gulls did not stop calling morning noon and night, they are large and very aggressive. Daisy was holding a piece of pizza by her side and one came and tried to prise it from her hand! When she was 6 one took the ice cream from her cone. I have seen them quite literally take food from from the mouths of babies.

Jason Lilley

It is hard not to become obsessed with roof tops but despite having a new camera I never felt able to get the right composition. Jason Lilley does it so much better, a lot of his work incorporates wonderful textures as well as shape and manages to break free of Ben Nicholson's heavy shadow. We found his work at it has some lovely art work well worth a look.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Paul Geraghty

The paintings are by Paul Geraghty (not the childrens book illustrator) more of which can be seen at

No one was more surprised than I was when Daisy dragged me over to look at a painting of the sea on the wall of the Waterside Gallery, as I peered to look at the name I realised I had worked with Paul at an "Inner city school" I remember he got married in St Ives so I guess it was a natural progression to settle down here. How lovely to do that and he was a lovely man (he wrote a cracking set of generic reports!) So I am glad he is now very successful. I have often thought I would like to live in St Ives I first went when I was 15 and still vividly remember the narrow lanes and the rather bohemian air of Fore street. Despite holidaying in Polzeath many times in my early 20s I never made it back until on a whim I took Daisy to stay for some quality mummy time when she was 6. She loved it, we stayed at The Ship which dates back to the 14th century, I still find it hard to imagine what life was like in the 18th century so this was a seriously beautiful old pub. I have visited since and thought about retiring here but 2 weeks gave me a lot of food for thought and actually I could not stand the constant and I mean constant noise of the gulls and strangely I miss the trees. Flora and fauna is limited here and I miss the variety of green you get deep in the countryside. So my short list is Wales or the utterly wonderful Cambridge which strangely is where another ex colleague has settled.

Julia Platt

The verticals are by Julia Platt at The horizontals are bashed paintwork on the boats in the harbour.

The web site is small but interesting like most gallery's it carries an eclectic mix of prints ceramics and jewellery. As my sister in a heroically kind gesture lent us her car I bought her a beautiful designer charm bracelet, I have not worn bracelets since I had children and I gave my collection of antique silver cuffs to my mother who wears them constantly, I did however covet this bracelet a lot but she loved it so that was good. In return for her favour I offered to clear her flat up. My sister is head of Human Resources of an international company whose offices over look The Mall, she is ruthless, mean and efficient and yet incapable of picking up her clothes off the floor and worse in the process of tidying up I found 3 yes 3 unpacked suitcases still filled with clothes from previous holidays! She does the dirty washing then leaves the rest so the last time she saw some of her clothes was this time last year when we were all in Egypt! How is this possible? so 65 skirts were reunited as were 15 bikinis 7 bloody hours this took and as she had a hangover she took a while to warm up. No doubt I will have to pop round when she returns from Cuba in a couple of months lucky me.

Eric Ward

Eric Ward at
My homage to the 2 strongest influences in the town the first view was first made famous by Ben Nicholson, the second is one of the most lovely gardens in the world.

I must have visited over 15 small private gallery's, all were wonderful in their own way and I am going to feature some over the coming weeks as well as sneak in some of my photographs. The overall effect of this combination is a resounding victory for art over photography as I feel that all the paintings and prints I saw captured the environment far better then a photograph (or mine at least) although it is hard to take a bad photograph in Babara Hepworth's garden. Interestingly I did not see any photography in the gallery's. The range of art work is amazing for a small town and all the studios are thriving. I am slowly catching up with some blogs and I am itching to comment on a range of issues. The Sartorialist has some wonderful photographs taken in Stockholm making me itch to go back one summer, however mother is keen for a villa in France or Italy but at £2600 for 7 days I guess it would be cheaper to buy one.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Tall Storys

We are back, we had a lovely time lots of pasties, fudge, ice cream, fish & chips so much delicious food so little time.... The house was perfect with wonderful views and the weather was very kind. The girls body surfed, dug a lot of holes in the sand and spent a lot of money on this & that. The people were lovely even my mother behaved.....I went to a lot of galleries all of which I will be posted over the next few weeks. I dressed like a complete slob, took far too many photographs especially in Babara Hepworth's Garden, paradise as always. On the down side the gulls were far too loud, the beds uncomfortable I did no painting and Leyla ,well she was just a very naughty little girl.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Heather 91

These arrived yesterday,. so lovely I have bought a third. This is the last post for 2 weeks whilst I relax on the beach and overindulge on Cornish pasties and crab sandwiches. And who knows I may even get to paint.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Tagged for real!

Fiona from Tagged me for real so that will teach me to be patient since I so cleverly tagged myself in June so lets embellish

1. I have no friends well how is it possible? work, kids, family, Where is the time I have friends as in work colleagues I consider my best friend to be my sister Lucy, we know we are there for each other most of the time although she has picked up the pieces of my relationship with Emin so often that is a no go zone. She is generous to a fault in all other areas. Most couples tend to have friendship groups but Emin tends to put people off only those with a strong stomach tolerate and enjoy his company.
2. I would rather live in Paris most people think I dislike the french but its more that I just do not understand them or their language but I have been to Paris many many times and would love to live their even if it is only for a year. Daisy loves all things french too and being a bright spark may go there for a gap year to improve her french. If you were to ask anyone in my family they would probably think I would like to live by the sea which would be nice but my no 1 English destination of choice is Cambridge, town of my birth.
I do love the house I live in now and adore the location, it has made my kids so independent but inside is not good. I have had little say about style or content and although I dream of winning the lottery and leaving for a place of my own I don't play just in case, because to leave the house would be to leave Leyla and that I do not want to do. It is so true what Virginia Wolfe wrote A room of ones own is esential for a woman to write or in my case paint.
3. I used to have a 26inch waist In my early 20s I became depressed and very over weight. Having grown up a tall and slender child I was never skinny but neither did I carry much fat I was very very sporty and ate a very healthy diet thanks to my mother, but after hitting the bright lights I hit the bottle and the junk food for comfort and confidence. Two life threatening illnesses within the space of 4 month's led to an evaluation of this hedonistic lifestyle and thanks to Rosemary Connolly I became slim and trim. The saddest part of this was that no one told me I looked good so I did not appreciate what I achieved, I seem to have limped from one destructive partner to another. I tell my children they are beautiful everyday so that they do not grow up riddled with self loathing.
4. I like bird watching as a child I had the AA guide to the birds of Great Britain I could name every bird, every location and every characteristic of each bird, I still can. This was the start of my many many obsessions, I tend to obsess over random subjects and topics. It normally costs money, lots of it, over the years, they have included wine, gardening( I can still name most plants in Latin) vintage Fisher Price Toys, vintage Victorian underwear (worn as outer wear) buying clothes on Ebay, blue pattern china, concert T shirts, camisoles, photography,incl cameras and paper. If only I could Channel this energy it into money making adventures and stop spending.
5. I like to go places and not tell anyone again this stems from a childhood habit of wandering around the countryside for hours. From the age of eight I lived in a small village in West Yorkshire,so it was easy and safe to walk for miles often without seeing another soul. I suppose I have always been a restless spirit and so my aimless wanderings have continued into adulthood, why I so often want them to remain a secret is a mystery to me to me too but my mother tells me my grandmother was the same so it must be in the genes
6. I never stop worrying about my children's welfare Does any mother? I know I come across as quite a laid back mother, my children are completely different to me when I was their age, and thank God for that. They are very open and eager to talk and often more sensible than me.
7. No one I know knows I write this blog which is very liberating and allows me a certain level of honesty I would not otherwise enjoy. So why write it at all? It has no theme, no direction but my aim was to document a slice of me. I have never had a clean bill of health,(kidney problems, ruptured ectopic etc etc) 7 years ago I found a lump in my breast and left it for 4 months, returning from Korea I was bored enough on the flight back to watch Stepmom not a brilliant film but I realised that the lump was not about me, but my children. I was so lucky it was benign and although my right breast is a cup size smaller I know I am so very lucky and currently as fit as a butchers dog. So the point? I want my children to know what I am like really like and this will be my quilt.

So there you have it, I know it is customary to tag 7 more lovely blogger's but everyone I read appears to have done this so thank you Fiona. Now I need to pack....

Zoom Zoom finally some good photographs, check this out.

God give me strength

An afternoon in the park. the dog ate the sandwiches so I lost my temper, but the sun is shining and I am finally painting, as is everyone else, like mother like daughter. I am nearly bankrupt after various shopping expeditions so paypal has been cashed and we are ready to go to Cornwall . The alpha male thawed briefly to narrate the excitement of a security alert at Liverpool st station everyone was evacuated but him. Now on planet fantasy this is where they shoot him, he has Muslim tattooed on his forehead and he carries a large rucksack, just one bullet is all it needs, all be it a silver one, but no they thought he was a bloody policeman! lucked out again.

Back to code red after a bag of rubbish was found on the floor......One of my secret vices has been to steal You magazine and read Liz Jones's Diary, her car crash of a relationship has always left me smug thinking yeah I cracked that cultural divide nut, I tamed the younger man (8years younger) but the white flag is slowly being raised, I just do not have the energy to rise to his relentless demands. If she thought hers was a slob, wife swap with me she would return home thinking she had died and gone to heaven. Roll on Cornwall ,oh, but wait, my mum.. not much different, bless her.

P.S Yes Daisy's hair colour is natural and totally awesome.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Deliver us from Celebrities

In a moment of weakness that I have no excuse for I bought a copy of Elle. It was the bag I dropped my guard for a second and I succumbed. Was I seduced? was I back in the fashion fold? No what a dogs dinner of a publication why have a 40++ year old on the cover and then fill the magazine with Janet Street Porters idea of yoof fashion? My biggest and bitterest gripe concerns page 150, Photography's Fresh Talent. I have always had a soft spot for the work of Gilles Bensimon, whilst he will never match the greats (Paolo Roversi, Bruce Webber et all) He has a certain style but what has possessed these people to chose a photograph of someone smoking I work with young people and I am sick of magazines and television programmes iconising people with fags in their hand and yes there is more. Why try to promote Fresh New Talent and bury it on one page, any one of them could have bettered the offerings this month. And why does Elle persist in sticking celebrities from generic photo shoots syndicated across the world so every other edition of Elle has the same photo on there cover, SJP is NOT a style icon she just wears what the stylists tell her too stop dipping your toe in the water do something radical and put a proper fashion photo on your cover using a proper model. For further inspiration find a copy of 19 from 1977, some of the best fashion journalism there ever was i can still taste the inspiration.

Tools of the trade

I am trying very hard to paint but the pressure to be a good mother takes most of the day, swimming, painting, feeding, clearing up dog crap, all seem to take precedent I have been at home for a week and the weeds are still high and my relationship is on code red (small disagreement about dog crap and assumptions about my duties (not my bloody dog) women sulk, alpha male gets angry and most definitely gets even)

Happy Birthday Kitty

12 hours without a rage attack must be a special day for my lovely Kitty. If only everyday was this special